The Quintessential Malaysian Motorbike

Throughout Malaysia, motorbike traffic is everywhere. Although it’s not quite as heavy as it was in Indonesia, the bikes here are in generally better condition. One thing I’ve noticed is that nearly HALF of all motorbikes I see are the same model.

The Boon Siew/Honda EX5 Dream

This particular bike has a basket in front, quite common here. Many folks only have motorbikes and need SOME way to carry small things to and fro. It’s only 100cc and holds a little under a gallon of gasoline. A little research shows the creator of this particular bike is from Malaysia and is known as the second ‘Mr. Honda’ behind the actual Honda founder himself. Most of them appear to be manual transmissions, and they have both an electric starter and kick-start. I’ve only just realized how poor the kick starter was on my old scooter as I’ve seen many-a-frail-old-man kick start their bikes with ease. It took me twenty minutes to kick start the Vento. Such is life.

I do still occasionally see actual motorcycles on the streets, but they are VERY few and far between. The need for a bike of that power here really just doesn’t exist. Traffic is so stop-and-go without the long stretches of highway that we’re used to in the States that it’s more hassle than it’s worth. Add in the local’s like for weaving in-and-out of traffic and a heavy, bulky beast like a Yamaha or a Harley becomes unwanted.

That’s not to say they don’t turn heads. When I do hear the tell-tale sound of a big bike approaching, many people turn to see it. The rider obviously has a lot of money and the bikes are always in immaculate shape. It makes me miss my 1978 Kawasaki KZ400 every time, though it’s in poor condition. The time is coming quickly where I’m just going to have to rent a bike for a day to satisfy my need to feel the open road again.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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